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Microsoft highlights 2011 best moments

Microsoft’s Frank X. Shaw, corporate vice president, corporate communications, has revealed his top eleven company highlights from 2011.

First up, is Windows 8, with Microsoft first revealing plans for the new operating system back at the Consumer Electronics Show in January in Las Vegas and then providing more details and a look at the UI at BUILD.

Windows Server 8 was also unveiled at BUILD in California in September to good reviews from the technology press. The revenue for Microsoft’s Server and Tools business also topped US$17 billion.

Then there is the partnership with Nokia, where the Finnish telecommunications company decided to run its phones on Windows Phone instead of Android. The first Nokia phones hit the market in November.

For FY11, we had record revenues of nearly US$70 billion, a 12 per cent increase from the prior year and a whopping 176 per cent increase over 2001

Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft
 
The acquisition of Skype was another point that Shaw highlighted, with the deal officially closing in October for $8.5 billion.

Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox, Kinect and Windows Phone and will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. It is also expected that it could help Microsoft boost its mobile division and compete against Apple and Google.

This wouldn’t be a Microsoft list without mention of Xbox and Kinect. Microsoft’s controller free console celebrated its first birthday, having become the best selling games console in history.

Microsoft is also positioning Kinect into the enterprise, with the Kinect SDK for Windows being unveiled and targeted at industries like manufacturing and health.

In other news, the Xbox also now reacts to voice commands. This got a particularly positive reaction when it was demoed at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference back in July in Los Angeles.

Microsoft also launched Office 365 in June before unveiling updates to the cloud productivity suite in November. Office 365 combines the cloud versions of Lync, Office, SharePoint and Exchange and is now used by 41 of the Interbrand Top 100.

Bing also continued to be a point of focus for Microsoft, with the product’s search share continuing to grow. The company is also trying to differentiate Bing as more than just a search engine.

As part of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's keynote at WPC 11, the company provided more details about the increasing integration with Facebook and the positioning as Bing as a platform.

Microsoft was also honoured as the number one place to work by the Great Places to Work Institute.

And one that I missed, Microsoft poked fun at the apparent privacy problems in Google’s business model with the Gmail Man video. Shaw also mentions Microsoft’s efforts to ensure that Android respects intellectual property rights as a highlight.

"For FY11, we had record revenues of nearly US$70 billion, a 12 per cent increase from the prior year and a whopping 176 per cent increase over 2001," commented Shaw. "We made some bold moves, like our acquisition of Skype and our partnerships with Nokia, Facebook, and Twitter."

Karen McCandless

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